Sunday, February 5, 2012

Soul Train Tribute

On Friday were were having an African-American feast in honor of Black History month. And while we were chowing down on a traditional soul food meal complete with fried chicken, greens, corn bread and banana pudding and peach cobbler for dessert, one of the teachers was putting slides together for our Black History Month program. He was showing clips of Soul Train.

Laughter filled the room as we watched the dancers shimmy and shake down the Soul Train line. Those of us old enough to remember were transported back into time, when watching soul train for the latest moves, stylish fashion trends, and an opportunity to hear our favorite artists was a must-do on Saturday morning. A native Chicagoan, I remember when Soul Train made is debut on Channel 26 before it moved to California.

We had no way of knowing that we were watching history in the making and the rippling effect that Soul Train would have in the Black community and beyond. What's a social gathering without a Soul Train line? Soul Train was not only a vehicle for African-American creative expression,it also opened doors for Black businesses that had been previously locked out main stream media.

My heart is especially heavy at the passing of the iconic Don Cornelius for numerous reasons. Not only was he was a trailblazer as evidenced by the numerous tributes this week, he did what each of us should strive to do--leave the world a better place. Soul Train was an integral part of my childhood and young adult years; I saw people on TV who looked like me. Mr. Cornelius suicide slaps us back into the reality of the world we live in, that no matter who we are and how much we have, happiness and peace within can elude us.

In parting I wish Don Cornelius, the Love Peace and Soul in the next life that escaped him in this one.

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